LAS VEGAS – First, the good news: American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez will be singing the national anthem before the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley welterweight showdown.
The bad news? The Filipina-Mexican singer will be doing her own rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and not Lupang Hinirang.
Instead, New Jersey-based teenager Kirby Asunto has been tasked to sing the Philippine anthem.
“Jessica Sanchez will be singing the US national anthem on Saturday,” Top Rank Promotions chairman Bob Arum said in confirming the news.
The decision immediately drew an uproar in social networking sites from Filipino fans who had embraced Sanchez as their own during Season 11 of American Idol, where the singer finished runner-up to Philip Philips.
Arum however, doesn’t see anything wrong with Sanchez, born in Chula Vista, California, going up the ring to sing the US anthem, and he was quick to dismiss the negative reactions from fans.
“Somehow, some people feel that’s something very big,” said the Top Rank boss.
Arum even hinted that he’s no fan of the popular talent search show.
“Me? I didn’t even vote in it,” he said.